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last second decisions on its own. with no help from the engineers at j.p.l. >> as far as the amount of control that the team has during entry, descent and landing, it's identical to the control that anybody watching at home has. we're all along for the ride. >> reporter: scientists can only watch as the last seven minutes of this ambitious mission determines the outcome says cbs news space analyst bill harwell. >> if it is a success it will be one of the great scientific triumphs of the space-age and if it fails i think it could be a setback for interplanetary exploration. >> reporter: the mission is to search for evidence that mars once could support life, an exploration that is expected to last two years. >> glor: what kind of tools and equipment does the rover have? >> well, it begins with the mask there that has a number of cameras on it to capture detailed panoramic images of regard mars as you have never seen before. other than that it is equipped to do what a human geologist would do on mars. pick up samples of rock and soil and then run them through an onboard laboratory to
of people out here at jpl about the prospect of putting curiosity down at this location and about the pictures and ideas that will come back right away. take a listen to what they said. >> there's a lot of intellectual investment. the team has developed a truly fantastic, novel architecture that is the product of our imagination. it is exactly what we think it should be. so we are all in on this. >> reporter: they are definitely all in, and we can give you kind of a close up look of what curiosity pretty much looks like. this is obviously not curiosity itself, it's a model. it gives you an idea. about the size of an suv, and the technology on this, kelly, is unbelievable. >> as you've heard, they're all in, and if all goes well, what will this rover be doing when it actually it was down? >> reporter: well, you can get an idea. we have animation but also from ththe --live look as well. this rover -- the best way to put it. if you've been to the grand canyon or seen pictures, you've seen stripes of rock going all the way down the canyon. each one of those stripes is a slice of life.
think it's in the 9s. those engineers at jpl are really good. >> landing on mars has been a tricky thing. 70% of the missions that landed on mars have failed. that's both the u.s. and with russia as well. what are the factors that complicate this? >> the atmosphere of mars is thick enough to heat your spacecraft and melt it on the way in if you don't slow down in the right way. it's thin enough that it's hard to slow down. it's a delicate balance between slowing down fast enough and not slowing down at all. that's what takes this incredibly complicated heat shield parachute rocket sky crane maneuver. >> not to mention, this is something that scientists won't be seeing in real time. there's going to be a delay. why? >> well, it takes 14 minutes at this point for light to get from mars to earth. radio signals too. so this lander will be on the surface of mars in one piece or many for seven minutes before the signal gets back to earth to tell us that it's successful or not. >> we've had missions like this before. what makes this one different in. >> well, this one, it's the size of a smart
Search Results 0 to 6 of about 7 (some duplicates have been removed)